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    Future of the_scorecard_8.10 Future of the_scorecard_8.10 Document Transcript

    • Perform Volume 7 / Issue 2 / 10 Information in Action The Future of the Scorecard Performance Management: Past, Present and Future Letters from the Publisher and Emergency Response . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Building Sustainable Performance Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 By John Katsoulis and Seema Haji Management Frameworks . . . . 41 By Kaye Kendrick The Future of the Scorecard PSEG Leverages Actuate to Reduce By Jeff Perkins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Costs and Increase Productivity 25 Bridging the Finance-Operational Public Service Enterprise Group Gap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44In this issue > The Smart Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Xenos 10 Top-Notch Performance . . . . . . . . 28 By David F. Giannetto Promaco Consulting Actuate Excellence Awards . . . . 50 How to Spot a Bad Strategy . . 15 By Mark Graham Brown Expanded Opportunity . . . . . . . . . 31 Coach’s Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Prudential plc By Catie Sirie The Road to World-Class Commissioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 A Clearer View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Reading Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 NHS South of Tyne and Wear IBM Rational ClearQuest
    • From the Publisher At Actuate, 2010 started off with some exciting news. TechWeb’s Intelligent Enterprise Editors’ Choice Awards were announced, and Actuate was named a 2010 “Company to Watch” in the Business Intelligence (BI) category, for creating and leading the Eclipse BIRT project and supporting the developer community. The awards look at companies that innovate, even in the tough times we’ve seen in the past year. Our innovation and ability to continually evolve are things that Actuate take special pride in, and we’re pleased that the editors at Intelligent Enterprise would recognize that too. While we’re on the subject of innovation and evolution, we’ve been doing exactly that recently at Actuate – evolving. In fact, with just the first quarter of 2010 behind us, we’re already a different company than we were in 2009. And the biggest change has certainly been adding a new member to the Actuate family: Xenos, the leader in Online Presentment and Document Storage Reduction. But that’s not the only thing we’ve accomplished so far this year – we also did amazing work launching BIRT Performance Scorecard 9, BIRT Mobile for the iPhone and Xenos Accessibility. Now we’re getting underway with this year’s Actuate Excellence Awards, which is an exciting opportunity for us to reward the amazing innovations of our own clients. You can read more about those on page 50. And as usual, there’s a lot of great information in this issue of Perform. I hope you enjoy it and can apply it to your own lives. Best, Rich Guth Rich Guth Vice President & General Manager Open Source Strategy Group From the Editor I recently came across an inspiring article about a gentleman in Malawi who was intent on providing The Future of the electricity to his country – one windmill at a time. He’s built three so far, put together with anything he could get his hands on, and he’s become a local hero because just one of them generates enough power for a television, the lights in his family home and more incredibly his local villagers can use it to power their cell phones. The story’s theme played out in my mind over and over again, reminding me that simple ideas can have a SCORECARD tremendous impact. Each year Actuate recognizes great ideas in our own environment. And although we are not focused on the same goals as that man in Malawi, we also think we have our own group of heroes – our customers, who come up with great ideas every day. For 2010 we honor these ideas through our Excellence Awards, with three areas of excellence, outlined on page 50 of this issue of Perform. While the first two categories may seem familiar to you – BIRT Implementation Excellence and Scorecard Excellence – the third honors the newest member of the Actuate family, Xenos. Xenos is the leader in Online Presentment and Document Storage Reduction and we’re excited to have them join us. You can read more about Xenos in “The By Jeff Perkins healthy or not. And then there’s you, searching high and low Smart Statement” on page 10, the first of a three-part series. Vice President and General Manager for a piece of information that will better inform how you doPerform Magazine // Information in Action W I hope you enjoy everything we’ve put together in this issue of Perform, from Jeff Perkins’ “The Future of the Scorecard” (page 3) – Actuate Performance Management Solutions your job. But it doesn’t exist, at least not definitively. There is which explores how Performance Management has evolved in his 14 years in the business – to Mark Graham Brown’s “How to Spot no single version of the truth. a Bad Strategy” (page 15) and David Giannetto’s “Bridging the Finance-Operations Gap” (page 44). Actually, we’re pretty excited e’ve all worked at that organization. about all of the contributions to this issue of Perform – we hope you are too. You know the one: the place where you have When I started in the Performance Measurement and Best Regards, to go searching everywhere for information, Management business 14 years ago, that organization was Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 for every single piece of data. But you look in most every organization. And that was why we were doing John Katsoulis 10 different places and you get 10 different answers. There is no single system of record for key, vital statistics what we were doing, because we were looking to improve on the status quo. We wanted to help people measure – to track – the vital indicators that tell you whether your organization is things like actual versus budget, actual versus benchmark, etc. John Katsoulis 2 Perform Editor 3
    • “ data more effectively to manage your organization. Companies – tall and small, public or private – and for all levels of those are also moving away from the traditional report card approach, organizations. It’s an attitude that we think meshes nicely with About the Author There’s been a vital With a solid background in systems engineering, product realizing that when employees feel like they are being judged or ‘graded’ – constantly held up to the scrutiny of their peers – this new evolution of Performance Management culture, but it’s one that differs from some of our competitors, who vary and dramatic shift in the management, sales, and sales management, Jeff Perkins they don’t always feel secure or happy in their jobs. No wonder many of them weren’t on board with the early performance across the board but don’t quite have that same attitude. Some think Performance Management belongs strictly in past years; a shift from a oversees the worldwide Performance Management Solutions team at Actuate. After spending eight successful measurement initiatives! the financial domain, to be practiced exclusively by the folks performance measurement years as Performancesoft’s Chief Technology Officer, Jeff Today, though, we’re seeing organizations calling people from that are financially oriented; others see it only as being for the ” – a 14-year Performance Management Software veteran – upper-echelon senior management. On that, we disagree. far-flung regions of their company because they’ve been culture to a Performance now works closely with Actuate’s engineering and product performing well on a particular metric. They’re calling them No matter where I stand on the company’s totem pole, after Management culture. management groups to ensure that all Actuate Integrated Performance Management solutions remain the most in to help mentor and coach coworkers who are struggling on the same metric, and they’re doing it in a collaborative all, I may be accountable for a business result or metric. And if I am, it’s important for me to be able to drill down into the innovative and user-friendly on the market. environment with great respect. It’s a more scorecard-oriented underlying operational detail of that metric, so that I can approach, where the idea isn’t to cast blame but to look instead understand what’s really going on behind the scenes. Someone at why certain metrics are performing below target, something above me isn’t going to necessarily need to go into as much that often has very explainable extenuating circumstances. detail as I am, so they’ll drill down to a much less detailed level; – and to allow them to use those statistics and ratios during Performance Management vs. Measurement If you look at the Actuate BIRT Performance Scorecard today, they’re focused on the big picture and don’t have the time the course of their jobs, to hopefully do those jobs better. for example, there’s room for commentary and annotations, or need to go down to the most minute level of detail. But in We’ve come a long way, dude. allowing metric owners to capture their knowledge, so that they Performance measurement still allows for that today. my role on the front lines, I need that information to do my In its infancy days, performance measurement was just that: a can explain what’s going on behind the numbers. It’s a different job well. It’s why we don’t think a company is making full use But it’s amazing how much something can change in a decade way of measuring performance at all levels of an organization approach, and it makes each employee along the chain a part of a Performance Management system – of its potential and and a half. Back then, performance measurement was still new and of keeping an eye on what was happening in the company of the process, not simply the fall guy if something goes wrong. possibilities – if they’re leaving it as the exclusive domain of and finding its footing. To succeed, we saw that visionaries trenches, so to speak. Which is fine, but many – I’d say most – In other words, it’s no longer a shame-and-blame system, but upper-tier executives. within the organization – often someone senior – needed to of the metrics being measured then were financial (since the instead one of constant collaboration and improvement. champion the cause; to push it through, sometimes amidst That’s one competitive differentiator of Actuate, and it translates management systems themselves were all based on financial Actuate’s Approach opposition from those who didn’t understand it or simply into what we offer. Our BIRT Performance Scorecard offers metrics) so most of the time companies only really had a small didn’t like the idea of being measured. And that often meant Actuate’s approach to Performance Management is this: we different capabilities for different types of users at different glimpse at what was happening. And they couldn’t react very that even the best performance measurement program, while think it’s for everyone, plain and simple. It’s for all organizations levels of an organization. Other differentiators include: quickly to any changes, either – not when they only looked started with the greatest intentions, often had some inherent at those metrics every six months or maybe once a quarter. A problems: a top-down approach that left those lower on the very frequent measure then may have been monthly; today, it’s totem pole feeling alienated by a new system; or a report card- likely to be daily or even hourly. style view of measurement that again left many employees feeling nervous and blamed. It was no wonder that some That’s not the only change we’ve seen either. Instead of just programs failed. tracking the data, organizations are now using it, and they’re using it on a daily basis, to manage and move themselves There’s been a vital and dramatic shift in the past years, forward. It’s no longer just executives taking the driver’s seat though; a shift from a performance measurement culture either; that top-down approach, which never worked well, to a Performance Management culture. And the chief aim of is gone and in most places we’ve seen it replaced with an a Performance Management culture is no longer just about organization-wide approach instead. Metrics outside of finance having all of that relevant data in one place – although that’s have been embraced, so there are more subjective measures important too – it’s also about being able to use that data in being adopted – including qualitative measures, as well as a meaningful way, to build your business. To see clearly thosePerform Magazine // Information in Action leading or predictive measures – to balance the financially- areas that need to be worked on and to benefit as much as skewed outcome measures, which are still important but only possible from those things that, as an organization, you do show part of the picture. well – and from the people who own those thriving metrics and are helping them excel. It’s a more collaborative culture, In other words, it’s an entire shift in culture, from measurement one that’s less quick to blame. And it’s a culture that Actuate to management. If you’re looking at data that’s been recorded Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 fits into nicely, because our approach to measurement and daily or hourly – as opposed to that which might be six months management has always been one where everyone works old already – you’re able to react to it more quickly, to nimbly together towards the same goals. navigate through any problems that might exist and to use that [ Figure 1.1: Briefing Books display information from multiple scorecards and allow users to drill down to understand performance trends via color-coded interactive display and user commentary. ] 4 5
    • • Time to value. Companies want to know how long it will learning mode, trying to figure out how to get the features that take before they start getting value from a system. And the a purpose-built application already has; and chances are, as Actuate team, over its years in the business, has realized talented as they may be in their own area of focus, they will never that the only way to be successful is to be able to deliver be able to build something with the same level of functionality, value quickly. One of our leading sales propositions is our since their core strengths aren’t in Performance Management. In time to value, measured in a small number of weeks rather than in months or years. the meantime, strategic resources – like IT personnel, technical resources and management – are distracted and aren’t focusing Performance Management: • The simplicity of replicating metrics. It’s incredibly simple in on core duties that are key to the company’s bottom line. Time The Top Three Persistent Pain Points is lost as they try to create and later maintain a Performance the BIRT Scorecard to replicate a metric across multiple Management system; they’ll never be able to give 100 percent organizational units. This is accomplished with minimal What haven’t changed all that much, even as the culture of Performance Management and Measurement has to their own business. A purpose-built product like BIRT effort in BIRT Scorecard because of the dimensionality progressed significantly, are the pain points our customers come to us with. Actuate sees them day in and day out, Scorecard embodies years of Actuate and customer experience of the product, which helps in being able to find best and they can stall a Performance Management initiative or stop it from meeting its potential. These are the top three in Performance Management automation; something a home- practices and to identify areas that are under-performing pain points we encounter: grown system cannot hope to achieve. quite quickly, even on the same metric. The Future of the Scorecard These are the key differentiators that Actuate brings to the 1. You don’t have the proper tools. There will always be some companies who try the low-cost approach to If there’s one thing that you can always count on, it’s change. table, and that our customers tell us have been deal breakers in measurement. They know Performance Management can be important to their organization, but they figure And if I’ve seen Performance Management culture change so their decision to choose BIRT Scorecard for their Performance they can do a good enough job of it by measuring their company performance using personal productivity dramatically in the last 14 years, I know I’m going to see just Management initiative. tools like those in the Microsoft Office suite: Excel, PowerPoint, Access, etc. Those are all perfectly good tools, as much change – or even more – in the next 14. Predicting don’t get me wrong, but they’re not designed for Performance Management. A company’s Performance On the flip side, some organizations that are technically inclined exactly where that change is going to happen isn’t an exact Management program can quickly become unmanageable and unmaintainable without a purpose-built sometimes decide that they can build their own Performance science, but there are a few things that we’re already seeing that package, one that’s meant for sharing and has reliability and multi-use capabilities built in. There’s a reason why Management application. Since they’re not in the business of I think will be crucial in how Performance Management plays do-it-yourself initiatives ultimately collapse under their own weight. Performance Management themselves, they’re always left in out in the years to come: 2. You can’t find the right data. Data, data, data – it all comes down to data, and whether you have the right data or not. With the proliferation of multiple enterprise systems, and the proclivity of businesses to merge and acquire, we find that any particular organization – and this goes for government as well as the private sector – has multiple source systems and multiple data formats. And in order to measure and manage properly, companies need to be able to reliably capture that data and to bring it into a system that is data-source agnostic. We’ve found that the ability for a system to sit on top of and to be independent of the data sourcing really future-proofs it from any changes that might happen due to mergers and acquisitions, or from changes to corporate or organizational strategy. 3. You can’t get support. The culture around a Performance Management initiative can make it or break it. So take a look at your organization: Is your initiative being used as the stick or the carrot? Is it engaging users at all levels? If you push a Performance Management initiative down from the top – tell employees ‘this is what you have to measure’ – it rarely ever succeeds. Instead, collaborative design is the most effective way of getting support; you go out and work with the people who are accountable, who own the metrics, and ask them what they need in order to measure and manage their part of the business. If they truly have ownership and can seePerform Magazine // Information in Action how their metric aligns with what the organization is trying to accomplish, then it’s easier to get that buy-in that is so crucial to success. And the benefits of doing that right are fantastic; it lends to better decision making all round and makes organizations more able to react to changing market conditions. Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 6 7
    • • It won’t be long before Performance Management offices and desks are becoming a thing of the past – so pervasively invades all portions of organizations’ the ability to get performance information regardless of operations. So it won’t be an afterthought anymore: when where you are, no matter your mobile device, is becoming a company invests in a large administrative system like an increasingly important. ERP system, the metrics portion will be built right in. That’s Actuate’s stated objective and goal as we move forward is to good news, since it means sourcing data won’t be nearly maintain state-of-the-art leadership, driven by the blending of a the same problem it has been in the past. very strong metrics calculation engine that does all of the heavy • There will be mass changes to the visualization of lifting work, with a strong and easy-to-use visual interface. We’ll performance information. It’s an area where Actuate is build on that in the future through increased mobilization and strong, and it will become more and more important as collaboration, and through self-serve performance information society becomes even more computer oriented and gets portals. I can’t give anything away as to what we’re working on used to strong, simple and intuitive interfaces. We’ll see now, but look for things to be faster and better in the future, applications we use in our work life mimic those we use for a system that is able to take on even larger Performance at home, influenced by things like social networking and Management applications. There will be a continued focus on self-serve banking applications, which need zero training being able to link from the strategic or summarized level right and are easy to use. Some of that’s already evident in the down to the operating level. current BIRT Scorecard, but you’ll find all applications But on the other hand, expect us to take things in a few adopting that kind of design standard going forward. directions – introduce some exciting new elements – that It’s the second wave of web-based Rich Information you’ve never even dreamt of. Surprises are definitely in the Applications. works. Because our job at Actuate isn’t just to react to changes • Finally, mobility will play a greater role in the Performance in the Performance Management culture. We create those Management world. People are increasingly mobile – changes too.Perform Magazine // Information in Action Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 [ Figure 1.2: Strategy maps allow you to create graphical representations specific to your Performance Management initiative. ] 8 9
    • The SMART STATEMENT Say Good-bye to Paper Statements, Say Hello to Online Presentment Every year, companies are sending out more and more statements, claims, invoices and bills. Traditionally those statements have been nothing but a cost sink. But not anymore.Perform Magazine // Information in Action Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 10 11 Part One in a Three-Part Series on Xenos, an Actuate Company
    • “ Traditionally, statements have been sent through the mail, and it’s been a one-size-fits-all approach. ” Xenos has been a major player in organization has 100,000 or 10 million customers, they typically the Enterprise Information send out the same statement to their entire client base, not Management Space for over making any distinction based on demographics or personal 25 years, during which time a unique mix of technology and customer preferences. At the same time, those same companies experience has positioned the company as an industry leader. Xenos’ may be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on online products and solutions can be found deep within the information or mail campaigns to target specific customer groups, trying to architectures of many of the world’s largest companies. With retain their customer base by building brand recognition, or up- a global customer base of over 375 Tier 1 organizations, Xenos’ selling or cross-selling to their existing clients. Many customers solutions are used to improve business processes, reduce operational may not even glance at those campaigns, but those same costs, enhance customer experience and promote the benefits of customers will look at their statements for an average of one to Green IT. In February 2010, Xenos became an Actuate company. three minutes each month, and often more than once. Add to that an open rate of 95 percent or more and those statements This is the first of a three-part series of articles on Xenos, an Actuate represent the perfect medium for those up-sells and cross-sells company. In this issue, Perform examines Xenos ePresentment™, an – an opportunity that, more often than not, is overlooked by the online statement presentment offering. Part 2 will focus on Xenos’ companies sending them. solutions for document storage reduction, while Part 3 examines how Xenos fits into the Actuate world. But that’s not the only element of the statement that’s ripe for change. First of all, the mail is no longer necessarily the Introduction preferred way of sending or receiving statements. Whether it’s Every year, companies can produce and send out millions of in an effort to be green, to reduce mailing costs, or to simplify these documents have taken any action to reduce the storage With the aging of the baby boomers, accessibility is also more statements, claims, invoices and bills. But could organizations the integration with their own personal electronic bookkeeping footprint. important than ever. There has been a movement towards be doing more with those statements? Could they be getting requirements, more and more people are requesting to receive creating documents in an accessible PDF format for the visually The Evolution of Online Presentment better use out of them? And at the same time, could they be their statements online. To stay competitive, companies need to impaired and aging population. These PDFs are created with using fewer resources to produce them, while making them offer that option. Besides the challenge of storage, traditional PDF documents tags to allow for the reading aloud of text, graphics and more customer-focused? that simply reflect a print statement also come up short in images. But soon, accessibility won’t just be a ‘nice to have’ Not all online statements are created equal, though. The another area: performance. Customers in today’s computer- feature. Rather, as baby boomers – the largest segment of the In other words, are companies wasting a prime opportunity? most common and basic way to create one is to simply take savvy world expect to see their online statements when they population – age, the need for everything from large print to After all, statement generation – typically done monthly – a traditional printed statement and to transform it into a PDF want them and how they want them. They want those online easily accessible documents is rapidly moving to become a is the most frequent contact most companies have with document without any changes. But statements that have documents to meet their needs and to be accessible however regulatory requirement. With this in mind, Xenos has recently their customers. But in most cases, organizations ignore the been designed for print don’t always translate well into the they choose to look at them. Xenos ePresentment allows for this, announced a new addition to its ePresentment Enterprise Server importance of the experience their customers have with that online world; a PDF that mirrors a printed statement does little breaking up and saving PDF documents into their individual platform that will generate accessible PDFs for ePresentment. information, and how it relates back to the branding and to address the uniqueness of a company’s customer database, components, to retrieve them as necessary, when necessary; This will go a long way in helping the visually impaired take messaging they wish to convey. The result is that marketing it does little to address customers’ self-service needs, and it this not only saves storage space but allows for branding and advantage of client information and at the same time insure departments are not taking full advantage of those documents. doesn’t do much to support companies’ marketing efforts. marketing information to be personalized based on customer that Xenos’ customers do not fall in breach of regulatory or By dramatically changing the content – reflecting specific profiles and to be constantly updated as needed and integratedPerform Magazine // Information in Action Traditional PDFs also can increase storage capacity legal changes on the horizon. customer segments while getting their branding across – they requirements and as a result increase capital and operational automatically when clients call up their statements online. could be benefiting from the marketing potential of documents That’s not all that’s possible, either. Every day, new and more costs. A graphically rich document like a PDF file can easily With this model, changing customer needs can also be taken that they have to generate and send out anyway. advanced adaptations of online presentment continue to reach 5 MB in size (as opposed to a more traditional text- into consideration. The growth of social networking and mobile emerge. Xenos ePresentment stays on the forefront, offering That’s where Xenos ePresentment comes in. based document, which ranges between 150 and 500 KB). technology usage, for example, means that output must be capabilities that include: The fully-burdened cost is between $20 and $30 per GB per adapted for much smaller-format devices, including netbooks Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 The Traditional Approach month to sustain digital storage. Multiply that cost over several and smartphones. PDF delivery, then, is no longer simply a • Repurposing content. Some organizations offer content Traditionally, statements have been sent through the mail, and years and the challenge becomes clear. At the same time, few customer-centric issue – it has evolved to become device- extracts of previously static information in structured data it’s been a one-size-fits-all approach. No matter whether an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems used to store centric as well. formats such as XML or CSV. These structured data extracts 12 13
    • are being directly imported into back-office applications in a straight-through processing manner, or manipulated by individual recipients within personal spreadsheets. Content repurposing offers a massive reduction in The Power of Xenos downstream manual processing, resulting in real cost ePresentment savings for end consumers. • Dynamic content consolidation. With dynamic content As a server-based approach, Xenos ePresentment consolidation, multiple related pieces of information offers a number of advantages: are merged or linked together to provide an expanded and/or supportive view of a single transaction or holistic • It eliminates the gaps in existing customer position. An example would be a personal bank information architecture and process flows statement, where all relevant check images are appended by streamlining information flows and to the end of the statement or hyperlinked within it and enabling the repurposing of legacy data then made available online. This translates into significant documents for new applications; saved time for end users who would otherwise have to • It delivers a superior “return on information” search for supporting materials. In addition, customers can by making that information available where, get a consolidated view of all of their transactions across when and how it is needed at a lower cost; multiple lines of business, or over expanded periods of • It enables the enterprise to control business time; this can enhance their service experience and make information and flow for both structured it feel more personal to them. and unstructured data, making information • Post processing composition. In post processing available where, when and how it is needed composition, previously produced and archived within the enterprise to improve operational documents are manipulated in real time based on efficiency and business processes, reduce changing customer preferences and advanced analytics. In risk and costs, and increase productivity; an online world, customer profiles are constantly updated and what was true at the time of document production • It eliminates redundancy in archive and may no longer hold true at the time of presentation. legacy applications and significantly Since documents are re-composed, assembled and reduces storage costs associated with presented online in real time, each reflects the latest document and image archives. How to Spot a Bad Strategy possible customer information and can take advantage of up-to-the-minute analytical trending reports extracted from corporate data warehouses. Online documents also reflect the most current marketing messages and offers self-service model for customer interaction. Online statements that are personally relevant to the consumer to support can be more than just a print document presented online, By Mark Graham Brown plenty of demand for their services, so this was a realistic goal. cross-selling and up-selling. though, and companies are realizing the benefits of presenting Mark Graham Brown Consulting The company ended up with three key strategies for achieving relevant and accurate information in a format that’s adaptable We’ve • Document decomposition. Some organizations are their growth goal: – one that’s able to keep up with their branding initiatives while all been in those planning taking advantage of print stream or PDF document meeting their clients’ personalized needs. Those companies are meetings where we begin 1. Increase share of business. Get more work from existing decomposition to present customers with a truly beginning to understand that statements don’t need to be the by reviewing our company’s customers. interactive experience. Documents produced in print cost sink they’ve previously been, but rather that they represent strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Typically stream or PDF formats offer a static presentation of 2. Acquisitions. Investigate and purchase smaller competitors an opportunity to interact with customers in a variety of ways.Perform Magazine // Information in Action there is a much longer list of strengths than there are or other companies who are in different markets/ information to the end customer. Advanced integrated Xenos helps bridge the gap between companies’ documents weaknesses, but companies seem to be getting more realistic geographies. document solutions (IDS) break down static documents and their customers, recognizing the true potential of online these days and are willing to acknowledge that they are not into individual XML files. A style sheet is created and 3. International. Focus on marketing to and acquiring new statements. With a powerful solution like Xenos ePresentment good at everything. Once the goals or objectives have been applied to the extracted XML content, resulting in a very international accounts in Asia and South America. behind the initiative – and the right champions within the established for the next year or two, the real hard work begins interactive customer web experience. in coming up with strategies for success. There are often Coming up with strategies is hard enough. Even more difficult Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 company driving it through – online presentment can bring Conclusion any company’s statements into the present and through to multiple strategies for a single goal. For example, a client had is coming up with realistic and accurate ways of evaluating Driven by demand and a desire to continually improve their the future, helping to maintain and build their customer-client a goal of going from $400 million to $600 million in sales in whether or not the strategies are the right ones. In this article, customer experience, organizations are moving to an online relations at the same time. the next three years. Industry data indicated that there was we will explore some of the practices that tend to work well 14 15
    • “ when evaluating strategies, as well as the most common website. They measured the effectiveness of the communication mistakes organizations make when assessing their strategies. strategy by counting metrics like butts in chairs at briefing We’ll start out by examining some of the errors and follow up meetings, the number of newsletters distributed and web site with a review of the best practices I’ve seen. hits. When they measured the effectiveness of communication The chances of any strategy being successful do ” Mistake #1: Failure to Get External Opinions on the following year, it actually got worse. include factors like luck and timing, but experience is Strategy I tried using Google ad words as a marketing strategy for my Deciding on strategy is often more an exercise in politics than consulting and training business; I paid Google $400 to $600 probably the most important variable. logic and reason. The executive team may brainstorm a list of every month to make sure Mark Graham Brown showed up possible strategies for achieving the goals, but it’s funny how on the first page if someone did a search on “performance the ones that make the shirt list are almost always the ones metrics” or “Balanced Scorecard”. I got close to 1,000 hits per month, which people told me was excellent. I did this for six for growth, market share and profit are handed down from #2 Best Practice for Spotting Bad Strategies: Lack of suggested by the CEO. Once in a while the CEO does not try months before realizing that not one of those website hits on high by the executives, board, or parent organization. We Knowledge/Experience/Success to control the decision and it’s a more democratic process, translated into dollars in business, or even a good hard lead. usually don’t have much say in these, regardless of how stupid but in these cases it is usually the person who can argue and It’s funny how when companies get big they start to think they The big mistake all of these organizations (including my own) they might be. For example, I remember talking with a well- present his/her case the best who gets to select the strategies. are good at business, and that any business that comes along are making is to judge the success of a strategy by measuring known Fortune 100 technology firm right after the internet Regardless of how the decision making is done, though, it they can make successful. This directly contradicts Jim Collins’ milestones, activities, or behaviors associated with the chosen bubble burst in the mid 1990s and they still had a goal of 50 is always a wise idea to get the council of some outsiders. findings that great companies stick to the knitting. In other strategy. You can complete all the activities on time and in the percent sales growth over the previous year! The best and Perhaps your board can provide advice on picking the right words, stick to what you are good at. The further you stray from right number and still not achieve the goal. easiest way of spotting a bad strategy is logic and reason. strategy, but sometimes they are even too close to the your roots, or what you currently do, the greater your chances situation and there is always the political factor operating with Mistake #3: Measuring Strategy with Only Outcome It’s hard for outsiders to understand how some big smart for failure. We’ve seen this time after time. Anheuser Busch is board members and executives as well. Most organizations Metrics organizations can make such stupid decisions sometimes great at making and selling beer, so they come up with a growth have a handful of consultants or advisors who know their when coming up with strategies. Apparently some of these strategy called Eagle Snacks (pretzels and chips). The strategy company well and who they can call on for honest advice This is probably even more common than tracking activities strategies are decided on without much in the way of a logical capitalizes on their core competences of manufacturing food about whether or not they have picked the right strategies. I as a way to tell if you’ve picked the right strategy. For many analysis. Some organizations rely on the nice diagrams with products, distribution, and marketing to consumers. It would would take the time and spend the money to get at least two organizations, the only way to tell if a strategy worked is to circles and arrows called “strategy maps” to think through their seem to be a pretty easy transition, but it wasn’t. Eagle Snacks or three outside opinions on the strategies you have selected look at lagging outcome metrics like revenue, profits, or market strategies. These diagrams are created in flipcharts with a team eventually failed and the remnants were sold to Frito Lay. One before settling on them. This will be money well spent if the share. It’s true that often these things are the ultimate goal or of experts and they look very scientific, but most are nothing of the simplest ways of spotting a bad strategy is to compare outsiders can point out some risks or flaws in your choices. The reason for the strategy. However, by the time you find out if more than a series of broad assumptions drawn on charts with the strategy with the organization’s track record for success. danger with this approach is doing it when you have already the strategy worked, it is too late if this is all you measure. This arrows used to indicate causal relationships. For example, the This is what scares most people about a government-run made up your mind and don’t want to hear anything that is mistake is much more prevalent in business than in the non- sequence goes something like this: If our end goal is growth healthcare system. The government is not very good at running contrary to the strategies you have already picked. Therefore, it profit or government sector. They tend to be happy with activity in profits, then we need more loyal customers who give us anything, except perhaps the military. The Medicare system is is important to get this external input when the strategies are or “program” metrics. The people who run the “Say No to Drugs” more business. In order to improve loyalty, we need greater already crippled by paperwork and bureaucracy and a strategy still in the idea phase, and probably before some big off-site program are happy to track metrics like eyeballs that view their customer satisfaction. To achieve greater customer satisfaction, of having the government run the entire healthcare business planning meeting. This can provide you with some of the data TV commercials or billboards, school programs conducted and we need high levels of engagement from our employees. To seems doomed to failure. you present when discussing alternative strategies. buttons distributed. They don’t want to be accountable for the achieve that we need to do a training workshop to teach every fact that drug use has steadily risen as has spending for the “Say Strategies should be selected based on the likelihood that the employee how they can contribute to improved customer Mistake #2: Measuring Strategies with Activity No to Drugs” campaign. Business people want to see outcomes organization can make them work. The chances of any strategy satisfaction and loyalty, and thus profits. Whew! Metrics that are usually measured in real dollars. I’ve run across many being successful do include factors like luck and timing, but Sounds good right? So the flaw here is that no one is asking experience is probably the most important variable. This is A pension organization I worked with had a strategy of large corporations that measure the success of their strategies for evidence or even a logic test to evaluate each of the where outsiders are sometimes valuable because they can ask balancing their investment portfolio to manage risk better. One by only looking at outcomes that are water under the bridge. assumptions or theories in this strategy map. How, for example, the hard questions like: “What makes you think you can pull this of their metrics was the number of meetings with investment In other words, by the time we realize that the new office in can a training workshop lead to higher levels of engagement off when you have never done anything like this before?” It’s hardPerform Magazine // Information in Action advisors. Another was the number of research papers written Singapore was a bad strategy we have already lost millions of from employees? If people are disengaged because they are to ask questions like this when you are inside the organization – on different investment options. A second client had a strategy dollars. The success of any strategy is ultimately judged by the overworked and mostly have idiots for bosses, no training you might be viewed as not being a “team player”. of growing sales through innovative new product designs; this outcomes it produces. However, waiting for those outcomes workshop is going to change that. If customer satisfaction was a fashion-oriented business, so it sounded like a great and only measuring success with outcome data often makes it #3 Best Practice for Spotting Bad Strategies: Better does improve, how do you know that will lead to more loyalty? strategy. However, they measured the strategy by counting impossible to spot a bad strategy until it is too late. Strategic Metrics If loyalty does improve from some of your worst customers, activities like time spent with customers, trade shows attended, Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 #1 Best Practice for Spotting Bad Strategies: Logic! this could result in a decline in profits. The bottom line is that One of the best and most scientific ways of spotting bad and milestones completed on design projects. A third client someone needs to evaluate your strategies with a critical eye strategies is to come up with a suite of metrics or an index had a strategy for improving communication with employees It’s amazing to me how little thought and logic go into many and Mr. Spock logic to test all of the assumptions that have metric that drills down to lower-level indicators of success. that focused on a newsletter, briefing meetings, and employee strategies I’ve seen in big organizations. Often the overall goals been made and ask for data/evidence to support them. Here’s a great example: A consumer-products company has 16 17
    • “ The most important dimension of any approach to spotting bad strategies is speed. Organizations need to quickly detect a bad strategy in the first month or two, change course, and come up with a new one. Waiting ” until the end of the year to see if any strategy is a success dooms you. a growth strategy that depends on establishing a tighter • Outputs; partnership with a few key successful retail customers who • Outcomes. stock and sell their product. The success of this customer relationship management strategy is measured with a The input and process metrics are the leading indicators that “Customer Engagement Index”. The index includes a number help tell you the strategy is a good one, but the ultimate success of hard and soft measures of the strength of the relationship, of a strategy is determined by the outputs and outcomes, which including factors such as shelf space, use of the consumer- are lagging indicators. products company as consultants, turnover of key customer Summary and Conclusions contact personnel on both sides, customer profit margin, customer satisfaction, brand strength, and relationship with Business textbooks are filled with all sorts of strategies that were competitors. The consumer-products company is able to colossal failures: Daimler-Chrysler, Time Warner/AOL mergers, The Road to World-Class measure customer engagement on a monthly basis to evaluate New Coke, diet pills that give you uncontrollable diarrhea, spray- the success of the relationship building strategy. on hair and lots of companies branching out into new products and markets and cultures where they don’t know what they Another client had a growth strategy linked to innovative are doing (EuroDisney!). The most important dimension of any Commissioning new products. New products sometimes took three to five approach to spotting bad strategies is speed. Organizations years from concept to market, so the company developed an need to quickly detect a bad strategy in the first month or two, “Innovation Index” that included the following sub-metrics: change course, and come up with a new one. Waiting until the • Employee perceptions and beliefs regarding risk taking end of the year to see if any strategy is a success dooms you to failure. Ask for outside opinions on your chosen strategies, test and innovation; their logic, pick strategies that link to your past successes, and Early Adoption of PBC Software has put NHS South of Tyne and Wear Streets • Ideas/suggestions passing through first, second, and third screens; measure the progress of each strategy with a suite of leading and lagging indicators. Ahead of Other PCTs in its Journey Towards Commissioning Excellence NHS • Milestones met on innovation projects; Mark Graham Brown has 30 years of experience helping business and South of Tyne and Wear isn’t modest in its and South Tyneside Primary Care Trusts, as well as Sunderland • Patents; government organizations measure and manage performance. His ambitions. Despite challenging demographics Teaching Primary Care Trust. current clients include the U.S. Navy, Medtronic, Eagle Systems, Inter- and intensive demands on its health services, the regional • Industry firsts; American Development Bank, and Nestle Purina. Mark is the author NHS body excels in the provision of information to practice- The statistics for Sunderland alone are striking. The 2004 IndexPerform Magazine // Information in Action of a number of books on performance measurement, including his based commissioners and aspires to achieve World-Class of Multiple Deprivation ranked Sunderland as the 22nd most • Awards, rankings, recognition; deprived district (of 354) in the UK. Sunderland has also been most recent: Performance Management Pocket Guide (2010). He Commissioning status within the next two years. • Sales and margins from new products. is currently collaborating on a new book with Steve Player called found to be part of the worst 10 areas in England for binge It is often said that, if you want something done quickly and drinking, and one in three adults and one in five children aged The key to coming up with a good strategic index metric is to Banishing Business Bullshit – How to Save Millions and be a Hero well, ask a busy person. The same seems to be true in the at Work that will be published in 2011. Mark has his own consulting 10 to 11 are clinically obese. Meanwhile, an already dominant make sure it includes the following types of sub-metrics: NHS. If you want to see real step change, go and talk to an elderly population is set to double by 2025, with increasing Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 practice in Manhattan Beach, California. overstretched PCT whose resources are under pressure. numbers having long-term conditions including serious • Inputs; Contact the author at mgb1@mindspring.com or via his website at NHS South of Tyne and Wear provides a single management disabilities. (Almost one in four adults suffer from a long-term • Processes; markgrahambrown.com. infrastructure serving some 600,000 people across Gateshead condition, compared to one in 10 in England as a whole). 18 19
    • “ system for delivering budgets, rather than multiple emailed Traffic-Light Alerts spreadsheets,” notes Watson. The sophisticated reporting capabilities provided by BIRT This is its real value – getting practices to look at This means that the 117 GP practices in its region now receive Scorecard are so accessible that they are used across the ” fully-costed budgets at healthcare resource group level for all their budgets and review how they are referring patients patients. This allows them to get a clearer picture of where board – from executive directors (for performance information) to the staff on the front line (for management and clinical to secondary care, so that improvements can be made. resources are being expended, and where areas of pressure are developing, so that these can be addressed efficiently and information, to support decision-making). BIRT Scorecard provides a Briefing Book feature, for example, which allows – Scott Watson, Acting Head of Information Management and Business Intelligence effectively. organizations to create and deploy customized views of Savings performance to accommodate specific users’ needs. Since deploying “Previously, we had a number of disparate systems tackling So it is impressive, faced with these not insubstantial deploy BIRT Scorecard to an additional 64 practices in a fraction the PBC system various aspects challenges, that NHS South of Tyne and Wear is developing of the time it would have taken other products.” two years ago, NHS of Performance an enviable reputation for its approach to information Previously, NHS South of Tyne and Wear had a range of disparate South of Tyne and Management, delivery for PBCs. systems in place that made it difficult to collate or assess PBC Wear estimates that but there was no From Performance Management to PBC information across the integrated landscape. With the new it has saved over continuity, and there system, this situation was transformed in a matter of a few weeks. £1 million by being were many gaps,” NHS South of Tyne and Wear was in the process of procuring a “We are still one of the few PCTs to have a single, centralized able to pinpoint Watson says. “It was system for Performance Management when the Department excessive outpatient also very resource- of Health (DoH) introduced its targets for PBC. It chose the appointments and intensive trying to BIRT Performance Scorecard suite of Business Intelligence ‘frequent flyer’ update them all. tools from Actuate, which leads the way in Performance Management. Its solutions capture and analyze management About NHS South of Tyne patients. The ability Now, everything information from a range of sources, presenting this to and Wear to identify and is centralized, quantify the impact everyone has it, and stakeholders in a very accessible, visual way via the web. NHS South of Tyne and Wear covers Gateshead these patients have it’s very accessible.” When the DoH made its move to the Annual Healthcheck in Primary Care Trust (PCT), South Tyneside Primary on local health “The software is place of star ratings, NHS South of Tyne and Wear decided Care Trust (PCT) and Sunderland Teaching providers has very intuitive too, that Actuate was ideal for the task, thanks to the depth and Primary Care Trust (TPCT) and is the name given enabled the PCT to so you don’t need clarity of its information reporting. Actuate agreed to lend to the integrated management arrangements utilize alternative IT skills to introduce the Trust management some development time, in order to which exist across the three PCTs. This means that, community services,“ultimately ensuring resources are used new elements. If new legislation is introduced concerning hone the software so that it would measure specific criteria whilst each PCT remains a statutory organization appropriately, but most importantly, providing better more additional performance areas that need to be measured, you across the full range of commission categories and related in its own right, the day-to-day management of appropriate care to patients,” Watson says. can build new frameworks very quickly, without having to wait budgets. the PCTs has been brought together under a Having gained an early advantage and made good headway for an external software expert to come in,” Watson explains. Speed to Market single management team. with initial PBC target monitoring, NHS South of Tyne and Wear Staff Savings, Better Decisions The software, first procured in January 2006, went live that NHS South of Tyne and Wear covers the is now working at encompassing broader community metrics April – a full eight months before the DoH’s strict deadline same area as Gateshead, South Tyneside and into the system. It wants to be able to measure activities and The software has provided such a boost to productivity that it’s for universal PBC coverage. The speed of the roll-out owed a Sunderland Local Authorities and is responsible resource consumption among district nurses and health allowed NHS South of Tyne and Wear to free up resources to great deal to the application’s ease of use, and its web-based for spearheading improvements to the health visitors, as well as capturing more primary-care data from other more strategic tasks. “But above all, the system lets us push configuration. Scott Watson, Acting Head of Information of local people. To do this they must understand GP systems (such as attendance and prevalence). “Our aim out information and robustly monitor and manage resources,” Management and Business Intelligence at the Trust explains: the health needs of their local communities and is to link primary and secondary health care information, to Watson says. “This is its real value – getting practices to look at their budgets and review how they are referring patients toPerform Magazine // Information in Action “Prior to the integration of our management structure, the use their resources to fund, improve and develop provide an holistic view of the health of our population, and system was deployed in Sunderland only. Our rollout in easily accessible healthcare services in line with the effectiveness of our services,” Watson explains. Knowledge, secondary care, so that improvements can be made.” Sunderland took place almost overnight, with all 54 GP those needs. This means working closely with after all, is power. The journey towards World-Class Commissioning status Practices being able to access BIRT Scorecard within a matter local hospitals, GP practices, pharmacies, dental Watson’s ambitions are fueled by the ease of use of the BIRT continues, as NHS South of Tyne and Wear works to introduce of days. Following integration, the strategic decision was practitioners and optometrists, as well as their Scorecard suite, which he describes as “visually very striking’”. “It additional data into BIRT Scorecard. “Thanks to the Actuate made to use BIRT Scorecard as the vehicle for the delivery social care partners, to ensure the best possible Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 displays information very flexibly using a hierarchical structure system, we now have a very good feel of where we are with this. of Practice Based Budgets and associated management range of services are available and traffic lights, so you can see how everything interconnects We’re now using BIRT Scorecard for all aspects of Performance information across the NHS South of Tyne and Wear patch. and identify immediately where issues are arising,” he says. “You Management and health commission frameworks, so we have Due to the system’s easy-to-use architecture, we were able to can then drill down into more detail to see what’s going on.” a clear roadmap on which to chart our progress,” Watson says. 20 21
    • EMERGENCY Rich Information Applications By 2030 the United States’ over-65 population is RESPONSE expected to nearly triple from its 1980 rate, Enable Healthcare Providers a result of the influential baby boomer generation reaching their retirement years. And as is natural with any aging to Maintain Healthy Data population, those baby boomers will face escalating health issues, in turn putting more and more pressure on the healthcare system and continuing to add stress to it for years to come. That’s not the only concern that the healthcare industry faces, By John Katsoulis & Seema Haji either; 16 percent of Americans don’t have medical insurance, while another 17 Actuate Corporation percent of the population has opted out of their health insurance for a multitude of reasons, including an inability to afford the payroll deductions. Meanwhile, as demand increases, costs are escalating, largely because growth in healthcare hasn’t been organic. While more customers enter the healthcare system, there are fewer companies out there to offer them the services that they need. Instead, existing companies grow to try to accommodate the increased demand. Skyrocketing costs are making it look like the industry is getting bigger, though, because costs and revenues for those left keep going up. The total number of commercial healthcare plans is decreasing, while high-deductible health plans are decreasing profits. As a result a greater emphasis, by necessity, has been put on costs, savings and efficiencies. Growth, in turn, has changed the quality of the services that are being offered. Mechanisms are needed to spur organic growth in healthcare, as well as to entice the working uninsured and to build more consumer-driven products. As changes continue to reshape the healthcare industry, healthcare providers are finding that they must view themselves differently than in the past and improve their methodology to gather the right data in an efficient way. Hospitals need information that allows them to measure their performance in a wide range of key areas, including regulatory requirements, patient care, healthcare services, outcomes operations, and finance. Rich Information Applications have a massive impact on a healthcare organization’s ability to deliver services, create differentiation and enhance market appeal. Too Much Data, Too Little Time Hospitals are businesses, and like all businessesPerform Magazine // Information in Action they need to make money – in other words, revenue must exceed expenses. When they don’t, a hospital often can’t afford to continue on, which is why the United States is losing an average of 30 hospitals a year. Others risk closing too because Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 of Medicaid under funding. Meanwhile, one- third of the revenue that used to be captured by 22 23
    • hospitals now goes to non-hospital providers, physicians and • Delivering regular and on-demand content to all users ambulatory surgery companies. Occupancy rates are going from a single unified platform so they can make the right up but the number of beds is on the decline. Fees are going decisions at the right time; down but costs are going up. • Lowering the total cost of ownership with Open Source Healthcare data is also getting more difficult to manage – technology, zero-training environments, lowest setup with more regulations, complex reimbursement processes costs and fastest time to market; and fewer staff. Although patient care continues to be top • Providing physicians, nurses and other staff with the of mind, utilization management, physician satisfaction and richest, most personalized user experience possible. employee satisfaction also need to be measured accurately. An explosion of data has accompanied these factors on a BIRT Performance Management daily, weekly, and monthly basis, including: BIRT displays powerful, visually engaging dashboards and • Detailed financial data spitting out from billing and cost- scorecards to track healthcare Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) tracking systems; such as operational efficiencies, billing and claims information • Average census, admissions, discharges, and length-of- and physician performance to convey this information to stay information; hospital administrators in an easily consumable format. BIRT dashboards display data about current and past performance • Turnover rates, vacancies, accident rates, and employee and show what needs to be improved either immediately or satisfaction tracked by Human Resources; in the future. Users can drill through into BIRT reports for root- • And accreditation, certification, outside performance cause and what-if analysis. benchmarks, and patient satisfaction levels, monitored by managers; Users can view or create dashboards from templates, read commentary down to the measure level and view trending The result is data overload. information over time and location. Enabling interactive BIRT-Based Rich Information Applications and content allows stakeholders to evaluate the results of services Business Intelligence Tools provided and the overall effectiveness of processes. With PSEG Leverages Actuate to Reduce the right view of KPIs, areas for concern can be identified An effective healthcare information system must access and immediately and a hospital’s performance and outcomes can integrate real-time data such as efficiencies and utilization, be managed effectively. patient and physician information, and employee satisfaction. Costs and Increase Productivity This information exists in multiple systems. As new mandates End users can access regular and on-demand content in a are implemented, healthcare providers must expand their variety of presentation styles, including brochure-quality use for larger user populations. Dependability and high documents, performance scorecards, Briefing Books, Excel performance become crucial business requirements at this files, dashboards and simple data-driven web pages. With stage as well. limitless data presentation formats and integration possibilities The PSEG Challenge for the BPR. This report generation process was manual and The took several days after the month-end close to produce. Actuate Healthcare solutions can help healthcare agencies from a single platform, Actuate’s Rich Information Application- clarity of a one-page statement on monthly wade through the data overload. They are built on BIRT ready platform leads to 100 percent user adoption across the actuals, plan and forecast – with drilldown “Teams throughout PSEG were spending a substantial amount (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) and BIRT enterprise. capability – offers compelling value to any of time producing reports and compiling analysis,” states David Performance Scorecard to deliver a cost-effective powerful business. The larger the organization, the more critical the Shor, Senior Business Process Design Specialist in the PSEG Conclusion solution that can be used by hospitals, medical facilities and need. Services Corporation. “Not only was this process inefficient, healthcare professionals. The healthcare industry in the United States faces great but the data was often outdated by the time it reached the The Commercial Operations Group at Public Service Enterprise challenges now and in the years to come. A rigorous management reporting team.”Perform Magazine // Information in Action For healthcare, BIRT tools offer options for creating interactive Group (PSEG), a $12 billion energy and energy services company Performance Management program can keep track of dashboards, billing and claims scorecards, physicians’ headquartered in New Jersey, deployed the SAP Business The Actuate Solution performance trends; without one, results are difficult to dashboards, strategy maps and interactive reports, enabling Information Warehouse (SAP BW) to provide a data warehouse ascertain. Increasing regulatory guidelines detailing new PSEG selected Actuate to deliver a critical financial management the management and improvement of performance. Actuate throughout its organization. PSEG found it difficult to use the critical areas of performance, the demand for performance application for its business units and management team. The Healthcare solutions empower hospitals and medical staff by: reporting functionality within SAP BW to create its key financial improvements in clinical outcomes, and increased reporting company selected Actuate over Business Objects and Cognos performance statement, called the Business Performance Report Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 • Streamlining financial, operational and customer demands have all contributed to this need for a practical and based on the following reasons: (BPR). The BPR is used by all of PSEG Services Corporation’s interaction processes with up-to-the-moment useful system. The key areas of patient care, healthcare services, business units and the management reporting team. Therefore, • The ability to include revenue, expense and residual data, information to slash costs and improve patient operations, outcomes, and finance can be measured with PSEG created multiple Excel reports to display the data needed from multiple information sources, on a single page; satisfaction; Actuate applications built using Actuate BIRT. 24 25
    • “ PSEG relies on Actuate for one of the most critical reports in our organization – the Business Performance About PSEG Industry: Energy & Utilities Challenge: ” Report. Actuate pulls data from multiple information P ublic Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) is a publicly- • Compiling monthly Excel and SAP BW analysis was traded (NYSE:PEG), growing energy and energy time-consuming and inefficient; sources and produces a single version of the truth. services company headquartered in New Jersey. • Financial information was outdated by the time The company delivers gas and electric service safely – David Shor, Senior Business Process Design Specialist, PSEG Services Corporation and reliably to areas of New Jersey in which about 70 received; percent of the population reside. PSEG has assets over • Wished to produce an at-a-glance snapshot for • The ability to store annotations at a cell level for each Actuate e.Reports is integrated with SAP BW and aggregates $28.6 billion and total revenues of $12.2 billion, with business and each unit, with drilldown capability. business unit that runs the report, and aggregate those data from multiple information cubes into a single presentation- over 10,000 employees. into a single report for management reporting analysis; quality report with full annotation capabilities. Over the past Solution: The PSEG Services Corporation was formed in 1999 to couple of years, the Actuate Business Performance Report e.Reports, e.Spreadsheet and Information Objects for • Flexible output, including Excel. provide quality, value-added services to internal clients (BPR) has become one of the most critical reports in the PSEG financial management reporting within the PSEG family of companies. This division Services Corporation. The BPR is a profit-and-loss statement “PSEG selected Actuate because it met all of our functional employs approximately 927 associates, who in turn Benefits: that compares actual, plan, and forecast data and is used by all requirements and could integrate with the SAP BW provide transactional and professional products and business units, as well as the management reporting team. This • Saved the equivalent of 20 workdays per month of a infrastructure. We had multiple requirements for our reporting services to 21 business units. hospitals, GP practices, report presents a clear, one-page picture of PSEG’s financial full-time employee through process automation; solution, including web based, user friendly and the ability to pharmacies, dental practitioners and optometrists, performance, including summaries and forecasts for each support multiple hierarchies and queries from a single report. as well as their social care partners to ensure the best • Tailored reports to specific user needs, empowering business unit. In addition, Actuate was also the only solution that would allow possible range of services are available users. Improved development efficiency, freeing annotations within a report at a cell level – a key requirement,” PSEG is also leveraging Actuate e.Spreadsheet and Information up IT resources. says Shor. Objects to enhance the user experience and to speed development. e.Spreadsheet enables PSEG to source data from Tailor reports to user needs both SAP BW and SAP R/3 and combine the data into a single report. Actuate e.Spreadsheet gives PSEG the ability to create Actuate offers a flexible, powerful development environment dynamic, reoccurring formulas based on different nodes of for precise control. The PSEG development team has not been multiple hierarchies. Links and formulas are based on the server, limited in terms of the kinds of enterprise reports that can be not in the spreadsheet, so deleting rows and columns will not delivered, ensuring that specific end-user needs are met. affect data or formulas. Improve development efficiency By partnering with Actuate Professional Services, PSEG With Actuate’s e.Spreadsheet, PSEG gets the power and completed the e.Reports implementation in two months and customization capabilities of Actuate combined with the the e.Spreadsheet implementation in less than six months. interactive and familiar interface of Excel. Power users are able Benefits of Actuate to develop their own e.Spreadsheet reports, offloading the development from IT staffs.Perform Magazine // Information in Action Generate cost savings Prior to Actuate, PSEG relied on a manual, time-consuming The PSEG Future process to create the BPR. Actuate has fully automated this PSEG will continue to leverage Actuate for financial management, process, pulling data from both SAP R/W and SAP BW into to as it has helped in reducing operating expenses while increasing a single report. As a result, PSEG has saved 20 days per month user satisfaction. Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 of work because of the Actuate application, and is expected to save more time as additional reports are developed in “Going forward, PSEG plans to increase the use of Actuate [ Figure 6.1: PSEG’s Actuate reports aggregate annotations, providing variance and revised forecast explanations as well as the ability e.Spreadsheet. throughout our organization,” says Shor. to drilldown and expand to lower levels of details. ] 26 27
    • Top-Notch Performance How Promaco Consulting Uses Years of Experience to Measure and Improve their Clients’ Performance Capabilities H ow do you get where you want to go in a fast and Corporate Governance, Process and Project Management, and focused way? Realize your business goals efficiently IT Integration – Promaco has made it their business to help their and effectively? clients measure and improve their performance and to realize their business plans and goals. With offices in Antwerp, Belgium It’s all about performance, the partners at Promaco Consulting and Utrecht, The Netherlands, the team of consultants has will tell you. Performing well on all levels can make your worked all over the world with primarily medium- to large-sized company shine. Knowing where your performance strengths companies from a range of industries, including healthcare, and weaknesses may be – and measuring them along the way waste management, electronics, tobacco, financial and textile. to see where you aren’t up to par – can give you a better idea of where you might need to focus your efforts, so that you can In the last seven years, Promaco has gone even further to try work on improving that performance to make your business to meet its clients’ needs, by developing a software application. run better. Called ‘Connect,’ it’s a user-friendly data and metadata ETL software and allows for the seamless integration of Actuate’s BIRT As a consulting company with 20 years experience and a Performance Scorecard Performance Management software specialty in Business Performance Management – as well as with any type and number of data and metadata sources.Perform Magazine // Information in Action Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 [ Figure 7.1: Using Connect you can seamlessly integrate your BIRT Performance Scorecard with any underlying metadata and data source. Due to Connect’s capability to define connection procedures using variables for measure, location, comparative and period, one and the same procedure can process data for a wide spread of combinations. ] 28 29
    • [ Figure 7.2: In Connect, variables can be used in simple click-and-select procedures or in full blown SQL or MDX statements. On execution any variable will be replaced with the name of the object data you’re looking for. As a result, the number of connection procedures can be reduced dramatically, saving time in both the initial setup and the maintenance. ] How Does BIRT Fit In? Promaco has had a long and fruitful history with Actuate and its Expanded Opportunity team. They use the Actuate suite of performance and reporting Quick Facts about tools, as well as their own Connect ETL and Performance Management expertise, for fast and reliable deployments of a Promaco’s Connect user-friendly management information solution that provides a clear connection between a company’s strategy, tactics and • A system with 100 measures, 20 locations, operations. three comparatives and 12 monthly periods might yield a total of 72,000 How Prudential Expanded its File Conversion The consulting firm first started using BIRT Performance Scorecard – formerly referred to as Views – in 1995 and has combinations. Using Promaco’s Connect, Capabilities Using Technology from Xenos E and depending on the structure of your since seen their company evolve along with the software source data, this could be reduced to as stablished in 1848, Prudential plc is an international capabilities to bring even more workflow improvements to its solution. They’ve used the application in close to 40 different little as 100 procedure signatures. financial services group with significant operations document generation, proofing and COMfiche functions. customer settings, and in the past two years have started using BIRT reporting capabilities as well. in Asia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Challenges • Connect allows you to use metadata from It provides insurance and financial services through With help from Actuate’s performance and reporting tools, your existing transactional systems, or to its subsidiaries and affiliates throughout the world. In the UK, Prior to adopting Xenos technology, proofing Xerox-formatted Promaco also now offers a solution for Independent Software prepare measure and location structures. Prudential UK & Europe is a leading life and pensions provider documents was a time-consuming process for Prudential Vendors (ISV) that wish to deploy an integrated management After connecting to these sources, the with approximately seven million customers. IT staff. “The proofing process took a lot of time due to thePerform Magazine // Information in Action information solution on top of their application. The solution system will process the available metadata PGDS is a distinct company within the Prudential plc group of slow turnaround on test prints,” says Jane Spittal, IT Technical can be set up for any ISV vendor in a matter of days and requires and automatically create measure and companies. It is responsible for the delivery of IT infrastructure Specialist with PGDS. “In order to check application changes, as little as one day to be deployed at each new customer site. location structures for your Scorecard on services for the group. programmers often had to wait two or three hours for their test It’s proven to be a successful offering, and Promaco now has 80 the fly. outputs to be printed and sent back to them. If further changes percent of the Housing Authorities market in The Netherlands, A Xenos customer since 2001, Prudential has relied on Xenos were required, it could take several days to test even minor where they provide a boxed solution to deploy a management to streamline a number of internal processes. Prudential initially Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 changes to formatted output.” information system on top of their transactional systems, using implemented Xenos d2e software, the technology behind Actuate and Promaco’s technology and based on a pre-built the transformation-services-for-documents component of Xenos d2e technology enables the transformation and performance framework for the industry. Xenos Enterprise Server. More recently it expanded on Xenos’ repurposing of high-volume print stream documents into 30 31
    • “ In considering the new requirements, we had to be satisfied that Xenos could handle outputs from our IBM mainframe as well as the existing Unisys outputs. And we needed to ensure that the system could cope “ By adding processing power to the Xenos technology, it easily handled the file sizes and volumes, and we have had no problems in terms of loading and searching. Now all files are available and easy to locate ” ” with the extra volumes without adversely affecting and users are benefiting from the search capabilities in turnaround on existing PDFs. PDF. – Jane Spittal, IT Technical Specialist, PGDS Prudential – John Alcock, Senior IT Technical Specialist, PGDS Prudential electronic formats. In 2001, Prudential purchased the As the regulatory climate changed, Prudential decided in transport to and from the site was too great. “We wanted to easily handled the file sizes and volumes, and we have had no technology specifically to streamline the document-proofing March 2009 to reconsider the management of its COMfiche eliminate the physical transport of data and adopt an online problems in terms of loading and searching. Now all files are process. With this transformation services software, Prudential creation and storage. “Historically we had been sending print alternative. In doing so we would be able to achieve a next-day available and easy to locate; and users are benefiting from the was able to convert print streams to PDF. This enabled staff streams from our mainframes offsite via tape to be converted to turnaround,” Alcock adds. search capabilities in PDF.” to check changes right away, reducing the testing cycle from microfiche and returned to us for storage,” explains John Alcock, Solution About the Technology hours – and in some cases days – to a matter of minutes. Senior IT Technical Specialist, PGDS. “According to our policy, we sent tapes out once a week. This ultimately meant a potential According to Spittal, taking on the additional print streams Xenos d2e is the underlying technology within Xenos From the outset, when volumes were in the region of 1,000 10-day turnaround before we saw the output in microfiche would more than double the volumes of what was being Enterprise Server’s Transformation Services for Documents. documents per month, Prudential increased the use of Xenos form. Also, there were occasional misfilings and search functions handled by the existing Xenos transformation technology. Xenos Enterprise Server (ES) transforms, indexes and repurposes technology every year. A second license was purchased to were cumbersome at times.” As she points out, while they initially considered a number of information into other formats for print and presentation. It enable the software to be used for distribution of outputs to vendors, Xenos had been chosen because of the fidelity of the integrates with existing applications through a variety of input business areas, and volumes reached 15,000 documents per In addition to lengthy processing delays and potential errors, print stream conversion. “In considering the new requirements, and output services, allowing organizations to add value to month by the end of 2008. Prudential also decided that the risk of losing data during we had to be satisfied that Xenos could handle outputs from their document-centric business processes and applications our IBM mainframe as well as the existing Unisys outputs. And without changing their infrastructure. With its Java-based, multi- we needed to ensure that the system could cope with the extra threaded architecture, Xenos ES is designed to process millions volumes without adversely affecting turnaround on existing of high-volume print documents – each with sub-second PDFs.” performance. After considering a software upgrade, the decision was made Summary instead to add CPUs to increase processing power, as well as To date, the Xenos platform handles 30,000 documents a acquire a test license for the COMfiche data requirements. month on average, half of which are used for online viewing Prudential was aware that the conversion was a considerable for internal and external users. As users become more familiar effort, since it entailed a number of changes in mainframe with the technology, Spittal says that Prudential will continue functions. to build on its capabilities to improve processes in other areas. “It was a big project that involved many people on both the “Originally we started with document proofing. The next stage IT and business sides,” says Alcock. “We did look at different was distributing internal reports to business users in their versions of software to implement, but ultimately decided it offices, then the COMfiche conversion. There is still more wePerform Magazine // Information in Action would be better to augment the processing power instead. We can do with the new system. We are all very happy with the already knew the capabilities of the Xenos solution, so we felt change.” this would allow us to implement the transition with minimal disruption. We were worried, however, that the large file sizes – up to 650 MB is some cases – might tax the system.” Prudential plc is a company incorporated with its principal place of Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 The worries were laid to rest fairly quickly in the process. “The business in England. Prudential plc is not affiliated in any manner fiche conversion exercise was very successful,” Alcock adds. with Prudential Financial, Inc, a company whose principal place of “By adding processing power to the Xenos technology, it business is in the United States of America. 32 33
    • By Virgil Dodson, BIRT Evangelist, Actuate Corporation; Karishma Haji, Product Marketing Manager, Actuate Corporation; and Sean Wilbur, Rational Unleash the Labs, IBM Corporation Introduction Software development management is the ability to track source code as it goes through the various stages of development from requirements gathering, testing, to release. Software requirements, plans and technical changes in a project, combined with the eminent interdependent and repetitive nature of the software development process, can make management chaotic for project managers and increase software quality risks. Reporting is a business attribute of project administration for software development. Metrics, summaries, and contextual reports provide views and insight into the status of a project and help bring projects to successful completion. IBM Rational ClearQuest, a comprehensive flexible change management system suitable for multiple process management, provides change tracking, process automation, reporting, traceability, and control of the software development lifecycle. Software development teams use Rational ClearQuest to successfully manage change in their development environments and throughout the software development cycle. Version 7.1 of Rational ClearQuest provides a new, flexible reporting mechanism based on a data-pull reporting model, adding significant flexibility over the traditional data-push model, so that individual team members can gain real-time visibility into development activities. Data is pulled from Rational ClearQuest via the supplied ClearQuest ODA JDBC driver and presented in the standard reports shipped with ClearQuest 7.1 that are based on the Open Source Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT), a project of the Eclipse Foundation. BIRT is an Open Source reporting system for web applications, especially those based on Java and J2EE. Actuate founded and co-leads the BIRT project, while IBM is also an active participant, with representation on the Project Management Committee and a number of developers contributing code. The BIRT project brings Rich Information Application capabilities as well as interactivity to the web-based reporting of structured data. As a result, it is the Open Source Business Intelligence offering with the most momentum, with more than 6.5 million downloads through 2008. BIRT consists of a comprehensive report development environment, reporting engine and powerful skill-specific tools for creating rich, interactive reports for client andA Clearer View web applications in a variety of formats. Rational has implemented these technologies as the basis of the new built-in reporting solution within Rational ClearQuest 7.1, along with aPerform Magazine // Information in Action set of standard BIRT reports that present the most commonly needed data. BIRT provides the foundation for the new web-based reporting in Rational ClearQuest 7.1 and will help meet the core, on-demand reporting requirements of ClearQuest users. This new architecture also provides the basis for more advanced reporting capabilitiesMaximizing the Value of the New BIRT Reporting in IBM Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 that will allow users to maximize the value of the data captured in ClearQuest. These advanced capabilities span a range of reporting needs, including customization and userRational ClearQuest personalization of reports, web-based report development by any ClearQuest user, and report scheduling, archiving and distribution. 34 35
    • The New Reporting Paradigm and Feature-Rich Eclipse. The BIRT Designer guarantees stable source code as it BIRT Reporting in ClearQuest is based on an Open Source initiative and has been tested by a wide variety of users on different infrastructures and platforms. Rational ClearQuest Version 7.1 provides a new paradigm The report designer provides an intuitive, easy-to-use, drag- for reporting using a data-pull reporting model, adding and-drop environment for representing structured data within significant flexibility over the traditional data-push model, a layout similar to a web page. Developers can use the designer and enabling real-time reporting. Prior versions used a data- quickly and effectively to create complex markups including push model to run reports, which precluded reporting on dashboards, drillable charts and charts that can change colors multiple data sources and multiple result sets. With the new based on values, where each cell pulls in information from the data-pull paradigm and built-in BIRT reporting technology, internal implementation of ClearQuest. ClearQuest users have significantly more flexibility, with the ability to create real-time reports that use multiple data The BIRT report designer provides advanced capabilities through sources and multiple data sets, and the ability to store and reusable components such as libraries and templates and manage reports by using an enterprise reporting server. programmatic control over the individual elements in a report through Java and JavaScript. Components can be frequently The reporting solution built into Rational ClearQuest used data queries, visualization items, calculations or stored includes the Open Source BIRT Designer, BIRT Engine and connections. These reusable report components can be used BIRT Viewer from the Eclipse project. The BIRT Designer as is or enhanced to meet new requirements, enabling users to provides ClearQuest customers with the ability to create quickly change reports as business requirements mature. report designs as a part of ClearQuest, without the need to purchase a separate report designer, while the BIRT Engine The BIRT Designer connects to ClearQuest through a JDBC and BIRT Viewer provide on-demand reporting capabilities. driver called the ClearQuest ODA, based on the Open Source Eclipse Open Data Access (ODA) project. The ClearQuest ODA Designing ClearQuest Reports with the BIRT driver was developed by Rational and is key to the real-time [ Figure 9.2: Designing reports with the BIRT Report Designer provided with Rational ClearQuest. ] Designer reporting capabilities. The ClearQuest ODA provides local and The BIRT Designer is bundled as a plug-in for the ClearQuest web connections exposing the underlying ClearQuest queries built into ClearQuest are honored by the reporting capabilities On-demand report generation provided by ClearQuest Web client and is a perspective within the ClearQuest Client for a user may have access to. In addition, the security mechanisms exposed by the ODA driver for BIRT. Security mechanisms Management is supported by the ability to pass run-time support the ClearQuest Folder Access Control Lists (ACL) as parameters through BIRT. Parameters flow from the BIRT well as ClearQuest Security Context, allowing only users with environment into the ClearQuest query, tailoring the report to the correct permissions to access, read and write to records. the powerful query dynamic filters inside of ClearQuest. The ClearQuest ODA driver also facilitates access to multiple ClearQuest Web Management UI allows users to upload ClearQuest data sources, as well as to multiple ClearQuest and share report designs, organize them into folders, export queries. Users can leverage BIRT capabilities to access multiple reports into other formats, save report executions and email data sources which can be implemented via multiple ClearQuest hyperlinks securely. queries. Similarly BIRT capabilities can be used to access Rational ClearQuest ships with a library and a range of BIRT multiple ClearQuest and non-ClearQuest databases such as report sample designs that allows users to quickly start Rational RequisitePro to pull information into a common BIRT designing and deploying reports, reducing time to market and report. This is particularly useful for managers who want to map enabling customers to get an immediate return on investment. the software requirements to the defects across individual or The BIRT report sample designs are starting points and define multiple projects the overall report layout, structure, look, and data available to On-Demand ClearQuest Reports Using the BIRT the report developer. Project Managers can use these intuitivePerform Magazine // Information in Action Engine and BIRT Viewer designs to quickly and easily create and distribute reports. Additionally, a new web application, the Report Server for The ClearQuest Web report management user interface utilizes ClearQuest, is included as an optional subcomponent when the BIRT Engine and BIRT Viewer to deliver the report execution you install ClearQuest Web. The Report Server for ClearQuest and viewing environment to users. The reporting engine supports management and running of reports “on-demand” Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 executes a report and generates the output within the context by using the ClearQuest ODA Driver. of an application. Output formats supported include HTML, Adobe PDF, Word DOC, Excel XLS, PostScript, and PowerPoint Report management services include basic management [ Figure 9.1: Launching the BIRT Designer from the ClearQuest client. ] PPT output as well as custom formats. of user accounts, access control for reports, and folder 36 37
    • management. Report services include running reports, printing • iServer Express. A light-weight report server designed quickly, easily and securely; it is especially useful for small- to of desktop software, or training. In a zero-training environment, reports, creating report snapshots, and exporting reports to to deploy, manage, schedule, archive, secure, run and medium-sized software development teams. It offers time- end users of ClearQuest BIRT reports can personalize the view PDF format or Microsoft Word documents. distribute BIRT reports. and event-based scheduling; automated email distribution of a report to meet their individual preferences and needs of reports; the ability to version and archive reports; and a by defining headers, labels and page breaks; changing data You can access the Report Server for ClearQuest from the • iServer Enterprise. The most powerful enterprise report web UI to run, view and share reports. With iServer Express, alignment, font or case; adding or deleting data displayed; Rational ClearQuest Client, Rational ClearQuest Client for server in the market, with all the functionality of iServer end users can schedule reports; specify report parameters; sorting data and applying functions to data; modifying existing Eclipse, or Rational ClearQuest Web Client, or directly from a Express but designed for large-scale distribution. and request that report results be emailed to them in the charts; and by applying conditional logic to their formatting web browser. Security for report viewing, generation, and • BIRT Interactive Viewer. An end-user interactivity tool that format of their choice. choice. management is provided by user authentication through the helps users create personalized views of information by ClearQuest database. The iServer technology also offers a unique security capability With BIRT Interactive Viewer, a single report design can serve the enhancing the interactivity of existing reports. called Page Level Security (PLS) which can restrict access to needs of multiple users, as a ClearQuest user can create their Extending the Value of ClearQuest BIRT Reporting • BIRT Report Studio. A web-based report authoring tool that individual pages of a report based on the user’s permissions. own “view” of a report. For example, a project manager can filter While ClearQuest BIRT reporting architecture meets the on- enables business and end users to create reports quickly Page Level Security can be used with ClearQuest to restrict an existing report to view Level 1 bugs without having to create demand reporting requirements of a user, the BIRT product and effectively. user access by using the credentials stored in the security a new report. The same report can serve the needs of the quality line from Actuate addresses the more unique reporting needs system. manager, who may want to view the Level 1 bugs, along with The BIRT product line from Actuate extends the functionality that different applications may have. This adds additional the name of the development resource assigned to fix the bug. of the built-in reporting features, by supporting flexible and iServer Enterprise shares all the functionality of iServer powerful capabilities delivered via skill-specific environments Once the report is modified, the project or quality manager can enterprise-level access to real-time capabilities that include Express, but on an enterprise-class scale, and is useful for to the ClearQuest reporting introduced in Version 7.1. Rational save the modified report view so that their changes do not have report scheduling and archiving, end-user interactivity, ad-hoc large, distributed global software development teams. It is ClearQuest users requiring additional capabilities such as to be applied every time the report is run. reporting and more. a scalable, best-of-breed server for generating, managing report scheduling, archiving, and end user interactivity can and securely delivering reporting and analytic content to All of the interactivity is provided in a secure, controlled easily leverage Actuate’s products as Open Source BIRT is the Scheduling, Archiving and Distributing ClearQuest an organization and integrates information from any data environment and is executed on the client side. Performance foundation across both. Reports Using iServer Technology source and application to serve both internal and external improvements are tremendous as only data in the original report The BIRT product line from Actuate meets specialized reporting iServer Express from Actuate is a report server that ClearQuest users. It is able to run in clustered environments, support is modified and none of the underlying queries are re-executed. needs and includes the following products: users can use to run, deploy and share ClearQuest reports hundreds of thousands of users and concurrently provide The BIRT Interactive Viewer provides project managers, quality multiple applications with scheduling and security. managers and development teams using ClearQuest with the ability to analyze the data in an existing report in a flexible yet The iServer technology is a powerful way to manage and controlled environment. distribute the BIRT reports that come with, or are newly developed for, Rational ClearQuest. Reports can be Creating ClearQuest Reports Over the Web with BIRT scheduled to run on a daily, weekly, or other regular basis, Report Studio with the ability to archive as many reports as needed, thereby BIRT Report Studio is a web-based report development tool providing a convenient store of hierarchical information. for managers and non-programmers to access the data they Additionally, business rules can be set up such that reports need and create BIRT reports. It does not require any experience are distributed to certain users when predetermined working with Rational ClearQuest or an Eclipse-based client. conditions occur. In the agile development world, the BIRT Report Studio from Actuate extends the out-of-the-box ability to access a range of reports is important for analyzing BIRT reporting offering that comes with ClearQuest by allowing trends and responding as quickly as needed. In an interactive project managers and developers to design reports in a drag- team meeting, for example, you can efficiently access a and-drop environment from within a web browser. range of archived reports, conduct ad-hoc manipulation of BIRT Report Studio allows users to work with pre-defined the reports, save the changes, and distribute the new “view” templates, out-of-the box themes, or themes previously created of the report, using features of iServer Express and iServer by developers. The tool is AJAX-based and built on the BIRT Enterprise from Actuate.Perform Magazine // Information in Action Report Engine; it can be accessed from within the web browser Personalizing ClearQuest Reports with the BIRT without requiring any software installation. With BIRT Report Interactive VIewer Studio users can: • Create charts and graphs; add, rearrange, reformat, show BIRT Interactive Viewer is a web-based report modification and hide data; and change report rows, columns and tool that provides additional interactivity to any BIRT report, Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 format cells. including those supplied with ClearQuest. BIRT Interactive Viewer is a browser-based AJAX report viewer which is easy • Add columns, calculations, aggregations, conditional formats, [ Figure 9.3: Managing reports through the iServer Express with report versioning and archiving capabilities. ] to deploy as it does not require the use of plug-ins, installation filters, parameters, charts, tables or pre-built report objects. 38 39
    • [ Figure 9.4: Managing reports via the iServer Express from Actuate, with report scheduling and archiving capabilities. ] Building Sustainable Performance Management [ Figure 9.5: Summary of Defects report viewed via the Interactive Viewer, a web-based report modification tool. ] Frameworks By Kaye Kendrick accomplishing these results, and do they have the ability Kaye Kendrick and Associates to continue accomplishing these results? W • Sort, group and organize data; format columns and fonts; Conclusion and validate the design of the report as they are building hat is a sustainable performance framework? A • Process. Are the services being delivered at the necessary Rational ClearQuest provides a powerful new reporting sustainable Performance Management framework level of quality and efficiency to consistently provide it. paradigm and capabilities for real-time reporting and charting, exists when an organization has vision, spirit, desired results to its customers? Anyone who is involved in the software development and based on technology from the Eclipse BIRT project. BIRT management structure and quality systems that consistentlyPerform Magazine // Information in Action release process, yet not familiar with Rational ClearQuest, technology in ClearQuest supports flexible and enterprise-level demonstrate value to their customers. There are three overall These critical success factors can be supported with a can create ad-hoc ClearQuest BIRT reports by dragging and access to real-time reporting and metrics. While the built-in areas critical to the success of an organization: leadership, sustainable performance framework established within an dropping data with BIRT Report Studio. Once saved, reports ClearQuest BIRT reporting meets the on-demand reporting management, and process. organization. A sustainable performance framework ensures can be shared with other users as they can be viewed with any requirements of a user, the BIRT product line from Actuate clearly communicated desired results throughout the • Leadership. Are the reasons why the organization exists organization. It identifies the services, activities and projects BIRT Designer or viewer without requiring the installation of addresses the more specialized reporting needs that different understood by management, staff and customers? Do Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 a ClearQuest client. This helps with faster decision-making, as applications may have. This adds additional powerful business being undertaken. It illustrates the relationships between they provide spirit and inspiration? the services, activities and projects, and the organization’s it’s a self-service method of creating reports and reduces the and end-user capabilities to the ClearQuest BIRT reporting burden on administrators. capabilities introduced and provided in version 7.1. • Management. What are the services being delivered to desired results throughout the organization. It provides make the organization a success? To what extent are they for performance measurement and costing of programs 40 41
    • “ To maintain its existence, an organization must use its money successfully. A Performance Management framework fosters communication and informed “ If a new mission or goal is desired, some organizations may wish to start from scratch. The advantage of using existing documents, however, is that ” ” decision making. It enables adjustment to management the organization can take advantage of work already structure and process to meet customer needs. accomplished. and activities. It surpasses the dynamics of organizational 5. Validate the logic of the relationships; brainstorming session begins to elicit performance measures clusters visually appear to be independent, much like grape structure and staff turnover, enabling succession planning and needed to convey the story of an organization’s results. clusters hanging from a single vine. The purpose of the 6. Elaborate the concepts in the framework; mitigating the effects of organizational change. It engages all clustering is to identify and establish sets of measures, which The brainstorming session begins by asking for more staff in recognizing the reason for the organization’s existence 7. Analyze the elaboration results; could be viewed collectively to draw conclusions about the information about the highest desired result. The answers and engaging in the spirit of the organization. It recognizes 8. Cluster the concepts to determine programs; services. A clustered area should be given a topic name, so that result will be the genesis of additional desired results, that process is dependent upon people. that the measures for the boxes in the cluster are analyzed with 9. Adopt the performance measures; as well as performance measures, thus giving the framework respect to each other. To maintain its existence, an organization must use its money more substance. Substance is necessary to identify programs successfully. A Performance Management framework fosters 10. Collect and analyze the data; and sub-programs. A cluster that occurs at the public purpose level is referred to as communication and informed decision making. It enables 11. Report the data. a program. The public purpose is at the top of the cluster, and The next step is to analyze the brainstormed list. Through this adjustment to management structure and process when all supporting desired results are independent of other clusters. Performance Management training is important. Training analysis, the framework will be augmented, and performance necessary to meet customer needs. The framework is critical Sub-clusters that occur below the public purpose are referred should be provided for users of the performance framework, measures will emerge. First, determine whether each concept to the development of cost-effective information technology to as sub-programs. There may be more than one desired result with more in-depth training for developers of the performance is 1) a desired result, or 2) a performance measure. development and reporting. at the top level of a cluster, but usually they will converge at a framework. Developers need four to six months of experience If the brainstormed item is a desired result, the next step is to strategic-level desired result. Development in performance framework development to be certified. determine whether the item already exists in the framework, The development of a framework involves strategic planning, The sets of measures identified for the desired result topics are The following framework components need to be recognized or if a new desired result should be identified. If the item exists program logic modeling, performance measurement graphed using three to five years of actual trend data. If three to to build a performance framework: as a desired result in the current framework, the wording may development, process system development, performance five years of trend data is not available, mock graphs are used as not be exactly the same – the brainstormed answer might reporting and the collection of reliable data, and resource • Desired Results. The purpose for which an organization placeholders until data is available. The graphs should include a paraphrase or restate the desired result – but the meaning allocation. A fully-functional, comprehensive framework exists and the expectations of service delivery (e.g., Healthy note specifying the expected date of data delivery. should be the same. should be expected to take five to seven years. This length of Community, Safe Community, Decreased Incidents of Reliable data requires complete, accurate, and consistent data. Disease, Decreased Number of Traffic Incidents). The third step in the elaboration process is to insert the time is necessary for the collection of reliable trend data and The following attributes help ensure complete, accurate and newly-generated performance measures into the framework. analysis. However, benefits from the process are recognized • Services. Describe what an organization is in the business of consistent data: Each performance measure will relate to a desired result, and quickly. The linking of budget should not occur until the system doing (e.g., Health Services, Law Enforcement Services). may relate to more than one. In that case, the performance • A safe environment in which to report data. It is important is fully developed, although resource allocation decisions • Projects. Describe what an organization does to implement measure is placed by the lowest level result to which it relates. that everyone recognizes that desired results might not be are aided quickly. Incentives should be provided for quality, a new service, delete a service or enhance a service (e.g., Its relationship to the higher-level boxes is conveyed by the met due to circumstances beyond the control of managers accurate performance reporting and analysis throughout the Technology Enhancements, Graffiti Task Forces). lines in the framework. Therefore, at the higher levels, more and staff. Managers must not be afraid to report adverse organization. The focus for the incentives should be on the than one measure is generally associated with a desired data results occurring outside their control. Support and reporting and enhancements to management and process If a new mission or goal is desired, some organizations may wish result. It then becomes apparent that all lower-level boxes assistance should be provided if this circumstance occurs. made to ensure the organization’s success, as opposed toPerform Magazine // Information in Action to start from scratch, rather than use existing documents. The have measures that can serve as indicators for the higher- the actual performance results. This helps eliminate fear advantage to using existing documents, however, is that the • Well-developed and documented data collection level box. This is especially important if the higher-level box of reporting adverse results. Developing a sustainable organization can take advantage of work already accomplished, methodology. The data management strategy requires can only be measured by customer feedback (a qualitative, performance framework involves the following steps: and not feel they have to start over. an organization to develop written data collection and rather than quantitative measurement approach). 1. Prepare for framework development; reporting methodology, retrieval and storage procedures, It’s also important to elaborate the framework. Elaboration is a When the elaboration process has resulted in a revised and review and validation requirements. It is intended Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 2. Understand components of the framework; process that involves brainstorming by the framework building framework, the framework should then be clustered. that managers be given sufficient time to obtain, validate team. This process will determine whether the framework- 3. List desired results and services; Clustered is the term used for identifying interrelated and analyze data before being required to report actual building and validation phases are complete. The framework- groupings of desired results with distinctive services. These results. 4. Establish relationships within the framework; building and validation phases are complete when the 42 43
    • T here has long been a gap between finance and operations . Traditionally the budget has been used to bridge this gap, seeking to ensure that these two disparate groups are in agreement – at least over what the ultimate outcome of the revenue minus expense equation will be. Yet each year numerous organizations go out of business despite extensive and often painful budget planning processes. Many more organizations see their financial results only vaguely related to budgeted expectations. How and why does this occur, and how can it be prevented? The answers lie in an organization’s ability to step beyond the purely financial processes, numbers and information that make up a budget. The right information can link finance and operations, dragging them step-by-step closer to one consistent view of organizational performance, soBridging the Finance-Operations GapPerform Magazine // Information in Action Using Information to Improve Financial Performance Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 By David F . Giannetto CEO The Telos Group 44 45
    • that jointly they can more effectively affect it. This will allow necessary evil. It is a cumbersome time-consuming process that the budget to achieve its original goal – the reduction of detracts from their ability to manage the overwhelming number overall organizational risk by better defining and creating the of tasks their subordinates must perform each day. To them, ability to better affect future performance. these are the critical tasks, what they view as their primary role, and the action items that will ultimately determine success or Cultures Create Perspectives failure. The operator typically has a better understanding of the At the heart of the problem lies the disparate view of relationship between operational effectiveness and efficiency organizational performance that finance and operations and the financial results they process than does finance, or even professionals have. Finance lives in the world of numbers, executives. ratios, and projections. Their schooling and professional This well-grounded perspective comes from these managers experience have all prepared them to analyze data and living within the world of operations every day. Within the create a picture of organizational performance without supply chain the ability to hit an expense goal might evaporate ever leaving their Excel spreadsheets. What they see is often with the breakdown of a single over-the-road line haul. At these a sanitized view that obscures the relationship between moments their focus is on spending overtime (and blowing operational performance and finance results. As a result, their budget) to avoid disappointing key customers, missing many finance departments have established cultures that critical shipping deadlines, or even causing massive system-wide reinforce this, making financial analysis the goal, production failures. Traditional financial budgets don’t take into account of financial statements the critical task, and closing the these decision points, they don’t reveal these critical trade-offs, budget cycle on time the ultimate mark of success. and they don’t adequately reflect the challenges an operational We must keep in mind that these are not the goals of the manager faces each day when seeking to meet the budget he organization. These are tasks, albeit critical ones, that should or she committed to. assist in the achievement of the true ultimate goals: the Yet despite the disparate views, finance’s bottom line remains generation of revenue and the minimization of expense. In the bottom line, and the only bottom line that matters. The other words, profit. profitability equation (revenue minus expense) cannot be In stark contrast to the finance prospective lies the view of changed, and therefore the important goal becomes ensuring Adding Realism (In truth they are inherently conservative. Most people are performance that budget owners, operational managers, that the agreed-upon budget is a realistic reflection of what conservative in their estimation when failure has significant have. For them, the budget process is often little more than a performance can reasonably be expected. There is often debate over whether top-down or bottom- consequences.) up budgeting leads to a more realistic budget. In practical application there is little difference between the two. The first The executive group then applies their expected performance, step in the budget process is for finance (or accounting) to which will typically increase performance and which many extract the data necessary to roll actual numbers into the next would argue is inherently optimistic. In the end, the executive Business Decision Support 101 budget cycle or period. Finance must add a baseline projection group’s perspective will win, because they are in charge. As for operational managers to use, and that baseline projection a result, operations will believe they have committed to a In a recent interview David Giannetto gave the following advice on Business Decision Support 101: comes from the executive group. It is typically delivered in a budget that is unrealistic (executives will call them stretch goals). simple statement that directs finance to use five, 10 or 15 Since the budget process is controlled by finance, operations “The first step in the analysis process is to understand what question is actually being asked. Many analysts, especially percent as the expected growth projection. The initial bar managers will often appeal to them for assistance in making the financial analysts, struggle with this because they do not understand business well enough to translate a business has been set, and executives are not going to set those goals budget a greater reflection of reality. Yet the finance department user’s question into manageable segments. The trick is to listen for and use the word ‘by’. When they say ‘tell me why significantly lower than they expect. They have influenced is poorly equipped to provide the aid they seek because they sales for last period for the new product group selling through the new big box retail relationship wasn’t what we the overall budget by establishing the percentage they feel is have only financial information, and that is not what is needed. expected before I get fired,’ the analyst should rephrase it as: ‘if I show you actual versus budget for sales by period, acceptable, making the process inherently top-down. But, what by product SKU, by sales channel focusing on the retail segment, will that get you what you need?’ Now the analyst The real issue isn’t which group’s goals are optimistic and whichPerform Magazine // Information in Action is acceptable is not always what is realistic or even possible. knows they need to focus on actual versus budget for four information groupings: revenue, period/time, product are conservative, it is that the two groups, just like finance and and channel. It doesn’t answer the ‘why’, which is what they really want, but it gives the analyst some place to start Bottom-up budgeting seeks to overcome this by starting operations, have such different views of performance. All the when trying to provide meaningful information. The ‘why’ answer will require additional granularity of information, at the lowest level of granularity and rolling up to summate groups work day in and day out within the same organization. typically adding purchasing invoice information to the four groupings to reveal when the deal started going bad.” overall performance. If the organization has the technology They all see the same strategic goals and execution plans, and information structure in place to accommodate this, then and although their perspectives and specific knowledge Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 this process can create significantly more realistic budgets. are different, there should not be radically different views on But bottom-up goals then go back up to reach the executive what outcome is likely. Fortunately, bridging the gap between group where these goals are viewed as inherently conservative. finance and operations can be accomplished in conjunction 46 47
    • “ When an organization creates its budget structure for the first time within a BP&F application, it is created “ It is easy to see the value of an information model, yet creating it can be difficult, as it’s hard for some to see ” ” from scratch. The structure they use becomes their beyond their own cultural bias and the way it has always information model. been done. with bridging the gap between operations and the executive and BP&F applications to link finance and operational adopting an information model that is more than simply the touch potential customers, which will in turn create greater cost. group. The missing glue is having the right information, and information together, bridging this gap. general ledger structure, and by breaking data out into groups, Are executives willing to accept that cost in order to generate information begins its life as data. Data stored in critical management can use comparative to answer better questions. greater revenue? Wishful thinking is removed; performance At the top level this performance-oriented technology technology applications throughout the enterprise. And, these questions can go outside of the normal financial goals are based upon reality. provides executives with one integrated view of organizational numbers typically used in a budget, such as: The Data Pool performance that visually displays the cause-and-effect As the year then rolls ahead the information model remains in relationship and provides one consistent fact-based view of • How many proposals did we have to issue last year to place. It reveals whether or not the assumptions used to create Within every organization there is a chain of events that must performance. It is an overlay that unifies disparate views of create the revenue we generated? the budget are or are not holding true. And management is occur to yield revenue. (This is also true in not-for-profits, the organization. The information delivered here can be the aware of them while they still have time to do something about only revenue is called funding, donations or grants.) At a • How many events did we do in order to find customers foundation for both making the budget more realistic and it. high level this chain encompasses making customers aware that had opportunities? bridging organizational gaps, if it is properly structured or of your product or service, touching or educating them, It is easy to see the value of an information model, yet creating modeled. • What has the average cost per opportunity? qualifying them, making an offer and gaining acceptance. it can be difficult, as it’s hard for some to see beyond their own The goods or services are produced and delivered and the Information Modeling • Is the expenditure of overtime event driven, cyclical or does cultural bias and the way it has always been done. They must support functions, such as accounting, collect and process it vary based upon the competency of each supervisor? set aside how they traditionally view their organization to see When an organization creates its budget structure for the the revenue. All along this chain of events expenses are • Are we getting what we expected for the variable how it truly operates or even how it should be operating. They first time within a BP&F application, it is created from scratch. generated. Finance collects and analyzes this information and compensation paid out? must break the analysis of their performance down into smaller The structure they use becomes their information model. It provides insight into past performance. This chain of events more meaningful groups, and they must standardize how structures information used throughout the organization into It is important to note that these answers can be found by forms the basic cause-and-effect relationship between disparate portions of the organizations discuss performance. logical groupings, with a unique but consistent hierarchy for management, but they are painful to generate, and are often operational performance and financial results. each information group that mirrors the way decisions are misleading and disparate when tied together with other This process will take some time, especially if the organization This chain of events is managed by operations, which would made. Groupings would be things such as: organizational information. The information model serves as the central point has never been through it before. But the process itself also include the sales group, and is supported by enabling units, business processes, sales channels and customers. As a to which all other things are attached. And because it is a set is meaningful. Throughout the process management, technology. Operations technology processes transactions whole, the information model gives consistent answers to the structure, it can answer these questions quickly and repeatedly, organizations will be discussing how performance should be and provides transaction-based reports, and will often be majority of enterprise-level business questions that are asked, providing one fact-based answer. These answers then become measured, what information is most critical, what questions integrated into the organization’s general ledger application. regardless of the department asking the question. It also gives the starting point against which executives, finance and about their business are most important and how they should Financial analysis is done within a budget, planning and the organization much greater flexibility when answering operations can form a more realistic budget. set goals. Creating this type of discussion was supposed to forecasting application (BP&F) that is rarely integrated with questions because answers are found by using any combination be the most meaningful part of the budget process. It was the general ledger or transactional applications. Data extracts of individual groups (a single point within a hierarchy for each In organizations using this approach, the conversations supposed to be a discussion that finance, operations and and transformations connect the general ledger to the group). This is the foundation of modern analytics and is often become more productive and help achieve the true purpose executives had together – improving the budget process and BP&F environment where dynamic and extensive financial referred to as a multi-dimensional model, and is referred to when of the budget. Executives still set goals and operations still bridging the finance-operations gap.Perform Magazine // Information in Action reporting is possible. discussing Online Analytical Processing (OLAP). However, this is manages towards them. But they can both see the cause-effect an approach not a technology, and is an approach to structuring relationship and have a discussion centered upon reality. And When managers need answers, they go to the data contained information that should be used regardless of the technology that is the part of the budget process that is most valuable. David F. Giannetto is the CEO of The Telos Group, one of today’s within these applications to find them. Finance goes to their being employed. If a budget owner believes the revenue goal is too high leading performance-oriented management and technology world; operations goes to theirs. Executives are typically fed they can explain why. Perhaps there are not enough events consulting firms, co-author of The Performance Power Grid, information from both groups, and the information they Typically finance adopts the structure of their general ledger Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 scheduled, attendance at these events has been reduced, or The Proven Method to Create and Sustain Organizational receive is therefore often disparate, providing conflicting because this is where the majority of data will come from and new competitors have entered the market that will reduce the Performance, and an MBA Professor at Rutgers University. He can answers and undermining the budget process. Performance- because it is easiest. But, the structure of the general ledger does win ratio. Inversely the manager can use this information to be reached at DGiannetto@TelosConsulting.com or by visiting oriented reporting technology sits on top of the operational not always reflect the way the organization makes decisions. By say that the increase in revenue will require more events that TelosConsulting.com. 48 49
    • The Actuate The Actuate Excellence Awards Program was created to recognize innovation and impressive return on investment among Actuate customers and BIRT users . Our customers consistently set new standards of excellence in their Excellence Awards industries, and the Excellence Awards identify and honor those companies and individuals . For more information on how to apply, email awards@actuate .com . BIRT Implementation Excellence Scorecard Excellence Xenos Excellence The BIRT Implementation Award for The Scorecard Award for Excellence is for Organizations are faced with providing Excellence is presented to Actuate OEM, enterprises that achieve breakthrough results solutions for both the line-of-business level end-user customers or BIRT users meeting in the financial, customer, operational and and increasingly at an enterprise scale for high standards for excellence utilizing BIRT people perspectives of their business. The key several key challenges in response to market or the Actuate platform. Qualified candidates to achieving these results lies in total visibility trends. One key challenge is the ability to have will have delivered highly innovative, of all business units and related underlying information available where, when and how it original or groundbreaking applications, or data. This category is open to any Actuate is needed. This category is open to any Actuate have demonstrated significant return on customer currently using BIRT Performance customer who demonstrates excellence using investment. Examples include (but are not Scorecard, that demonstrates excellence in Xenos Enterprise Server’s solutions to migrate, limited to) applications that reach a large BIRT adoption by providing examples of how archive, load, reduce storage costs, present user base, provide users with new and the BIRT platform is leveraged to support online, or deliver 1:1 customer communications. valuable information, or use leading-edge current Performance Management efforts. Extra points will be awarded to customersPerform Magazine // Information in Action RIA and BIRT technology for user interactivity who demonstrate a thorough adoption of and visualization. Xenos Enterprise Server solutions by including examples and details of their implementation, as well as some of the significant benefits that Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 were realized, such as enhancements to the customer experience and reduction in storage costs . 50 51
    • > Coach’s Corner > Coach’s Corner Performance Management includes BIRT Scorecard Exchange, a new Performance continuous Performance Management education and sharing Management community site where the end users can best practices between various groups. extend their business inquiries, quests for best practices Taking a Team Approach to Success The Performance Management team should be responsible and other general Performance Management knowledge for all strategic planning, analysis and measurement for the to all BIRT Scorecard customers. This has created a powerful organization. This centralized effort means that all of the community and truly extends the power of knowledge decisions surrounding the program are made by one core Performance Management program becomes just one part of within the organization. team and that the objectives, goals and measures can all be their job responsibilities. Ideally, this core team includes members from various tied back to the organization’s strategy in a consistent way. Regardless of the main person involved in the program, there departments to take advantage of the cross-functional A focus on knowledge management, handled by a core team are definite risks associated with a small number of people knowledge that each member can bring. Having resources of Performance Management experts within the organization taking on the responsibility of Performance Management from various areas within the business allows for different will go a long way in ensuring the longevity of your initiative. within the organization. With only one person leading the way, levels of influence and different core capabilities. Talents and This type of model can be very successful and can withstand it is difficult to gain traction and momentum in the initiative. All expertise from all resources can be leveraged and maximized resource and organizational changes. With a little planning of the hard work that the one resource does can go unnoticed in this approach. The Performance Management team in choosing and organizing the core team members and and the chance that the culture embraces the program and the can also be in charge of all of the education and training determining the roles and responsibilities of the group, the business process changes is highly unlikely. Additionally, if the associated with the initiative. This in itself is an ongoing organization will benefit greatly. Improved decision-making, champion leaves or takes on a new role within the organization, responsibility and the continuous training of the end-user continuous education and a constant infusion of energy to the the momentum, knowledge and enthusiasm can go as well. community will help to ensure the long-term success of the Performance Management program will be among the many The scenario of having a small number of people involved in this program. At the beginning of the process, the education benefits your organization will gain by deploying this type of By Catie Sirie type of program is unfortunately common and although it can program should include demonstrating to employees the model. Keep in mind that a champion is still very important to Professional Services Manager work in some smaller organizations, a successful program that impact that their individual performance has on other areas add to the credibility of your initiative, but is only one of the key Actuate Corporation has longevity has a very different model. In that more successful of the company and as the program progresses can move to success factors in the knowledge management model. scenario, it’s still just as important to have a champion, but At the beginning of an engagement with a customer, we are at the same time more of a culture shift is involved, where often asked what the most critical factor is in a successful the organization focuses on managing their Performance Performance Management program. Where a few years ago, Management knowledge as an asset and includes a much I would have stressed the importance of having a strong larger group as the core team responsible for the initiative. champion leading the way, my recommendations have changed slightly and now include more of a team approach This central team of “champions” shares the responsibilities of to success. Performance Management over the long term and is in charge of managing all of the business processes that support the During the initial stages of an implementation, most program and the knowledge surrounding the initiative. The organizations have the “champion” included in the planning organization’s scorecard often includes many links to other process, as well as the one or two resources that have been systems, additional resource material and best practice identified to act as the system administrator. The champion is websites that are good sources of knowledge. This information included to provide the history of Performance Management is critical to the end users of the system and organizing it and within the organization and to provide the overall goals sharing it wisely with the group is something that requires and vision of the program moving forward. The system constant attention and updating. The core team should be administrators typically take on the remaining responsibilities responsible for updating this information and truly turning it and are in charge of tasks such as coordinating various into an asset within the organization. meetings with the departments for measure identification,Perform Magazine // Information in Action building the actual database into the system, and organizing The SHARE feature within Actuate’s BIRT Performance Scorecard training. During the project’s rollout, these responsibilities are is a great way to organize links and share information in an a full-time commitment and involve managing many moving easy-to-use way. Web pages that are included within SHARE parts towards a common goal. Although the champion will also be opened directly in the SHARE feature making a remains involved, they typically fade into the backdrop of seamless transition between BIRT Performance Scorecard and the initiative leaving the system administrator to take on all web page resources. This feature is a valuable way to share Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 of the accountability of the program’s success. Further, once best practices and lessons learned between different end user the system has been rolled out to the initial user audience, the groups and to create a streamlined process for answering system administrator is reassigned to other priorities and the their business questions. The latest feature within SHARE also 52 53
    • > Reading Room > Reading Room Pocket Guide to Performance Management The Intelligent Company By Mark Graham Brown Five Steps to Success with Evidence-Based Management A t just 72 pages, this book is exactly what it promises to be: a short and succinct pocket By Bernard Marr guide – but one filled to the brim with useful and important information and resources W geared for the Performance Management professional, all from someone well-versed hat are the five steps managers can take to improve their business intelligence and and respected in the field. Pocket Guide to Performance Management, by Mark Graham Brown, is to manage with success? To find out, you’ll have to read Bernard Marr’s The Intelligent a reference guide to Performance Management, starting with a dictionary of common terms on Company, a new and practical guide for managers who might need a reality check planning, measuring and managing performance, then moving on to more detailed advice for in order to start managing their companies more effectively and to gain the competitive those initiating or maintaining a Performance Management initiative. advantage. The second half delves into tips and techniques for reviewing performance, diagnosing problems, The Intelligent Company offers managers a step-by-step approach to analyzing their business and deciding on an action plan and evaluating links between measures and strategies. And it’s all improving performance. It’s easy to follow, with approachable examples, giving managers the there in a way that’s easy to maneuver through while you’re setting up your own Performance reality check they might need to move themselves and the companies they manage forward in Management initiative – a handy guide to have around when you need a little bit of advice from a practical, evidence-based way. a Performance Management expert. Practical Data Analysis and Reporting with BIRT BIRT For Beginners By John Ward By Paul Bappoo W W ith Practical Data Analysis and Reporting with BIRT, author John Ward – a ritten by Paul Bappoo – founder of the BIRT User Group UK – BIRT For Beginners is consultant for Innovent Solutions, specializing in BIRT – has written a guide exactly that: a tool for beginner BIRT users, with walkthrough tutorials of the main to the BIRT Report Designer, which allows users to design reports in the BIRT features of Eclipse BIRT Designer, Actuate BIRT Designer, iServer Express, Interactive document format. BIRT Viewer, Actuate BIRT Studio and BIRT Spreadsheet Designer. Those tutorials include a Anyone looking to become more familiar with BIRT and its capabilities will find this look into everything from installation to data selection, as well as formatting reports and fully book useful. It starts at the beginning, with tips on installing and setting up the BIRT graphical Flash charting. environment, then moves on to creating structured reports, adding visual report With the help of this book, you’ll be creating your own BIRT reports in only a couple of hours. That elements, and filtering down data to the information you need. You’ll find out how means you don’t need to spend days learning – the author promises you’ll be getting tangible to create cross-tab reports, create a shared development environment using libraries, results a lot quicker than that. And when you buy the book, you also get access to a readers’ and use style sheets and themes in report designs. Basically, it’s a primer to BIRT Report section of the BIRT For Beginners website (at www.birtreporting.com/BIRT-for-Beginners), which Designer, but one designed with results in mind. Ward wants to get his readers using offers extra tools for the new BIRT user. BIRT as quickly as possible, by providing practical advice along with common examples and case studies.Perform Magazine // Information in Action Vol 7. Issue 2 . 2010 54 55
    • Perform Magazine // Information in Action 56